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Linux Accessibility Workshop, Sun Accessibility


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  • 1. Linux Accessibility Workshop 2007-01-23, Karlsruhe Sun Accessibility Malte Timmermann Technical Architect StarOffice/ Sun Microsystems 1
  • 2. About the Speaker • Technical Architect in StarOffice/ Development • Working on StarOffice since 1991 • Main focus: Core Development > Accessibility > Security > Architecture and Performance • 2
  • 3. Agenda • Sun Accessibility Efforts • StarOffice/ Accessibility • Project of interest: Orca 3
  • 4. Sun Accessibility Efforts • Support for AccessX keyboard extension in Solaris X Windows system • Java Accessibility API > To expose all needed information to AT • Java Access Bridge for Windows > Because Windows AT is written in C/C++ • GNOME Accessibility API > Similar to JAA, with some improvements • Java Access Bridge for GNOME > To make Java applications accessible on GNOME 4
  • 5. Sun Accessibility Efforts • GNOME TTS architecture • FreeTTS > Free “Text to Speech”, a port/re-write in Java of “Festival Lite” • Implementation of accessibility APIs in different projects > Java,, GNOME, Mozilla,Thunderbird, Firefox, Evolution 5
  • 6. Sun Accessibility Efforts • Gnopernicus > Open source screen reader for GNOME, in cooperation with BAUM • GOK > Open source on screen keyboard for GNOME, in cooperation with University of Toronto • Orca > Newest screen reader for GNOME > Developed by Sun, written in python, easy scripting support • Regulation & Standardization > Member of OASIS OpenDocument Format Accessibility SC > Twice members of Section 508 advisory committee 6
  • 7. StarOffice/ Accessibility • Started in 2001 > Keyboard Accessibility > Colors and Fonts, High Contrast > Adapt to the color schemes and contrast display settings of the operating system > Offers additional settings for colors which are not specified in any system color schemes > Additional icon set > Accessible Documentation > Additional features for different needs > Text selection cursor in read-only documents, disable animations, force automatic font colors (for legacy documents) > Assistive Technology (AT) 7
  • 8. StarOffice/ AT support • AT support questions > How to support different AT? > How to support different platforms? • Decided to support Java Accessibility > Should work on Windows and on Linux/Solaris with GNOME > Only one implementation for both platforms > Advantages: Have AT support on multiple platforms more early with given developer resources, only one implementation, maintenance costs > Disadvantages: Start-up performance (loading JavaVM) and runtime performance (bridging C++ => Java => C) 8
  • 9. StarOffice/ AT support • Design of UNO Accessibility API (UAA) > Looked at Java (JAA) and GNOME (ATK) APIs > Discussions with people from JAA and ATK > Discussions with AT vendor (BAUM) on best ways how to expose different things > Full featured API > to not only expose UI and simple text content, but to also expose full featured office document content > Lead to enhancements also in JAA and ATK > IBM did choose this API as a template for “IAccessible2”, which they brought to “Free Standards Group” for standardization end of 2006. 9
  • 10. StarOffice/ AT support • Bridging UAA to JAA > Faking to be a Java application > AT doesn't have to know anything about or about that new Accessibility API > All AT that supports Java automatically supports OOo • OOo 2.0.1: Direct UAA to ATK bridge > Improve startup performance, runtime performance and memory consumption • Native Windows Accessibility support? > Win32 and MSAA are not powerful enough > Future: UIAutomation? IAccessible2 ? 10
  • 11. Project of interest: Orca • Started in 2004 by blind Sun engineer Marc Mulcahy > Python prototype, performance better than expected • Project led by Willie Walker since early 2005 > Willie is working on Accessibility stuff since early 90's • User interface design by blind Sun engineer Mike Pedersen > Mike led the JAWS script writing department before coming to Sun • Developed as an open source project from the beginning > The majority of design discussions and all of the source code have always been free and open to the public • Orca is a quot;scriptablequot; screen reader that is layered on top of the GNOME accessibility infrastructure > allows people to develop application-specific scripts for compelling access > Scripts are optional, not needed for general access to different applications 11
  • 12. Project of interest: Orca • Main focus currently are the GNOME desktop and office productivity applications • Orca primarily uses GNOME-speech for speech synthesis > GNOME-speech provides support for a number of speech synthesis engines, both open source and commercial • Orca uses BrlTTY for braille support > BrlTTY supports a very large number of braille displays • Orca uses GNOME-mag for magnification • Orca replaced Gnopernicus as the default screen reader for GNOME > The replacement came with the support of the Gnopernicus team • Not only used for access to the desktop, but also for accessible installation of OS! • Orca community is growing > Contributions from all over the world > Positive feedback from users 12
  • 13. Questions & Answers 13
  • 14. Sun Accessibility Malte Timmermann 14